Review: Titans #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Nicola Scott
Colors: Annette Kwok
Letters: Wes Abbott
Reviewed by: Matthew Lloyd
The Titans have taken the place of the on-hiatus Justice League. But, just as they’re getting started and getting things in place, one of their own has been targeted- Wally West, The Flash!
It’s hard not start with the beautiful art of Nicola Scott that graces the pages of Titans #1. Whether it’s an intimate close shot of Raven holding Garfield as a mouse, or the wide shot of Dick and Donna talking to Garth on the beach or the new Titans Tower in Bludhaven, Scott makes the book look incredible.
One of the biggest draws for Dick Grayson as a character is that he’s been able to age, grow and develop. This concept is applied to the Titans as a whole and it’s easy to see that this is the draw for the team- a group of friends who’ve grown up together. It almost doesn’t matter what crisis they face, it’s really about the group of friends- Nightwing, Donna Troy, Wally West, Garfield Logan, Victor Stone, Raven, Starfire and a number of others over the years. Tom Taylor captures this as the team comes together for this new stage in their careers. It’s really interesting that Garth (Aqualad/Tempest) is set apart in the story. Dick makes it clear he wants Garth to be part of the Titans, but he can’t. It’s nice to see that it’s not out of animosity or misunderstanding demonstrating simply that Garth has different priorities right now.
With all that Wally’s been through over the past five years beginning with Heroes in Crisis, it’s clear that the wound he suffers on the first page is not fatal despite the intensity of the dramatization in the issue. It’s interestingly juxtaposed against the rest of the team bringing things together. It’s going to be the journey of how Wally gets out of this as opposed to a shocking death.
It seems like it’s a bit of piling on after Jeremy Adams has done all the work in undoing the damage wrought on the character. It may feel tiresome to some to have Wally targeted on page one. However, Wally, because of the trials he’s already come through is the only one who could be on the verge of death and it be clear it’s not a cheap stunt or meaningless death.
The inclusion of Peacemaker and Amanda Waller was a direction I didn’t expect and it feels slightly off. Time will tell if they work as antagonists for the Titans.
There’s a lot of heart in this issue as Scott communicates it through the characters faces and body language and Taylor wisely plays off the established history of these characters. It began way back in Brave and the Bold #54 with Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash, the sidekick proteges of the Justice League of America. It then started again with the New Teen Titans in 1980 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Titans #1 begins the latest series to feature these friends who’ve grown up together. Certainly the journey will be fun and exciting, but the heart of this issue as well as the popularity of this group of characters is their friendship and shared experiences that continue on just like real life.